Tsuyoshi Shinjo flies hovercraft in Nippon-Ham Fighters opener

Former Met Tsuyoshi “Big Boss” Shinjo made his management debut with the Nippon-Ham Fighters on Tuesday and his entrance was nothing short of exciting.

Shinjo, who played for the Mets and Giants from 2001-03, flew a hovercraft into the Sapporo Dome for the team’s home opener against the Saitama Seibu Lions.

The footage shows Shinjo, 50, operating the air-cushion vehicle as a floodlight follows him across the field. His entrance – in which he also wore a tinted helmet, white pants and a red jacket – included climactic music.

Shinjo eventually made a smooth landing on the field. He then removed his helmet and jacket before stepping over the diamond.

While his entrance was successful, the Fighters’ opener ended in a 4-0 loss to the Lions, dropping them to 0-4 on the season.

Shinjo is the first Japanese player ever to appear in a World Series game, after he did in 2002 with the Giants, who lost in seven games to the Angels. After three seasons in the majors, Shinjo was relegated to Triple-A. He later returned to Japan to finish his career, winning his first and only title in the Japan Series in his last game as a professional player.

Tsuyoshi Shinjo playing for the Mets in 2001
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Shinjo wears many hats in his native Japan. He regularly appears on television and has his own clothing line. In 2004, Shinjo also won the Japanese version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”

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